While commonly considered to deal only with the design of buildings, the scope of an architect’s professional services also includes town planning, construction management, and conservation, restoration or refurbishment of a building or group of buildings. Beyond design skills, the architect must possess management acumen, technical expertise, the appreciation of social trends, and an understanding of business practices. Such skills are applied to the definition and interpretation of client needs, the preparation of feasibility reports, and the coordination of the work of the entire design team including structural, mechanical and electrical engineering specialties. This coordination from conception to occupancy generally involves advice to the client on project objectives, budget, and even matters of simple practicality. The architect will also produce both conceptual and detailed working drawings; will specify the nature and quantities of required materials; will prepare tender documents and will undertake negotiations with contractors and professional service providers on behalf of the client. But architecture is also very much an art form. For this reason, the great architects stand out for their creativity, their originality, their sense of the aesthetic, and for their humanism.
Requirements for Engineering Licensure in Canada
If you are not licensed to work as an engineer in Canada you must be prepared to work under the direct supervision of a licensed professional engineer. To work independently you must obtain a P.Eng. designation awarded by one of the provincial or territorial engineering authorities whose role it is to govern the engineering profession in Canada. Although they differ slightly among the provinces and territories, the basic requirements for licensure are:
- An engineering degree awarded by a Canadian or Canadian equivalent university;
- A minimum of four years of relevant engineering experience of which one year must have been gained in Canada;
- Successful completion of a Professional Practice Examination;
- Canadian citizenship of proof of permanent residency in Canada;
- Be of good character as vouched for by three referees.
The process of obtaining your P. Eng. can start even before you arrive in Canada. Visit the Roadmap to Engineering in Canada at newcomers.engineerscanada.ca. This takes you to the Engineers Canada website. There you can link to the provincial or territorial body where you plan to work and obtain the necessary application forms and list of required documentation.
Alternative Careers in Engineering Technology
Engineering technicians and technologists may offer non-regulated engineering and technical services directly to the public. They must, however, work under the supervision of a Professional Engineer when providing professional engineering services to an employer or the public.
Technologists apply theoretical and practical methods to design, plan, develop, test, manufacture, construct, install, commission, operate and maintain engineered products, processes, systems and services. Technicians apply theoretical and practical methods to assist with the design, development, manufacturing, testing, construction, installation, commission, operation and maintenance of engineered products, processes, systems and services.
If your training and or work experience is in engineering but you chose not to become licensed as a professional engineer you may be qualified to work in a wide range of technology occupations as a professional technician or technologist. Discover the many alternative career pathways to rewarding and well paid occupations in engineering technology.